Cleveland vaccination bill could improve public health

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    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver), the chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee has drafted up a bill for legislation.

    Cleveland's Bill, she says, would help Washington State residents be better protected from the spread of disease and bacteria.

    The bill would eliminate one of the three currently allowed exemptions from the common vaccinations that immunize children from polio, measles, chicken pox, pneumococcal disease and other illnesses.

    While someone can retain their religious and medical exemptions, the bill would remove the exemption that is used most often and is least substantiated: personal belief or philosophy.

    “Vaccinations protect not just the children who receive them but others throughout the community,” Cleveland said. “First and foremost, widespread vaccinations make it difficult for a disease to gain a foothold in a community. Second, reducing the potential exposure helps protect those who are unable to receive vaccinations, such as newborns or individuals with chronic illnesses.”

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